In Search Of Excellence
In Search of Excellence is a book dealing with many different principles of
economics and what makes big business\' excellent. The first idea that Peters
discusses is his chart of the McKinsey 7-S Framework. The graph is very simple
but the ideas are fairly complex. In their research, they found that their
philosophies were too hard to explain and easily forgettable. They made this

Framework to deal with strategy, structure, style, systems, staff (people),
skills, and shared values (culture). This has 7 S\'s (easy to remember) and a
graphical representation to visualize. This shows the businessman that the
intractable, irrational, intuitive, and informal organization can be managed.

For example, anyone assuming that a new manager of a Taco Bell will perform
exactly as the old manager did is ridiculous. The organization of workers must
adjust and adapt to the new manager\'s way of business. Another more main topic
of the novel is the Eight Basic Principles. Their research had shown that the
excellent companies had been based on the basics. The companies had to try to
keep things simple. Sometimes, to a big business, it might seem logical that
business should be run more complex the larger it is. From their research, this
is usually not true. The first pricnciple is a bias for action. This is
basically saying "Stop talking and do something about it." When Taco

Bell has a rush of customers and their supplies for making food are low, they
(usually) don\'t say "You know what, I have no more cheese" or
"Could someone get me some more cheese?" They take action and get the
cheese, make it if necessary, and get the problem solved as quickly as possible.

The second Principle they deal with is to be close to the customer. This means
good service and listening to what the customer has to say. If the producer,

Taco Bell, is not in touch with what the customer wants to eat, then the
business will most likely fail. Although it also refers to customer
satisfaction; quality food made right and curteous service: "Have a nice
day and enjoy your meal!" The third principle is autonomy and
entrepreneurship. This is the innovation principle. 3M is known for innovation
and they welcome the changing and rearranging of old and new products. For
example, my dad took 3M\'s basic arthroscopy pump and redesigned it into an in
flow-out flow cannula. This innovation on his part temporarilly set 3M back on
its feet in that product line. The fourth basic principle is productivity
through people. This deals with the indivdual as the best means for efficiency
improvement rather than capital investment. If Taco Bell could put everyone in
the area of work they most enjoyed (drive-thru, washer,...) then they could
produce more food and maximize their utiles. The fifth basic principle is hands
on, value driven. This is the standard setting and enforcing values in a
company. This is keeping the "head honcho" in touch with the assembly
line worker and projecting the company\'s original ideas, instead of an image of
some suited businessman lurking in a big, dark office. The sixth and often
obvious principle is to stick to the knitting. The basically says that if a
company is in the food business, it should not branch off into the wood industry
unless they have no where else to expand in the industry they are already in.

The seventh basic principle is a simple form, lean staff. This means leaving few
people up top to manage a company and keep the form of management simple. The
eighth and final basic principle is simultaneous loose-tight properties. This is
another value-based principle. This could be described as the ability for a
worker of Taco Bell to do his/her job in his/her own way as they incorporate the
company\'s values and philosophies into their work. These values demonstrate that
they don\'t just work because they work, but rather because they just make sense.

Peters does a great job of explaining and giving examples of these eight
principles and shows us that we would be foolish to ignore these principles.

Also, we could learn a new skill from the 7 S-Framework, which is what growth is
really about: the ability to learn and teach.